SINGAPORE – Children applying to six popular schools may need to go through balloting, in the third of seven phases in the annual Primary 1 (P1) registration exercise.

Catholic High School, Nan Hua Primary, Nanyang Primary, Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary, Red Swastika School and Rosyth School were oversubscribed when Phase 2A2 closed on Tuesday night (July 16).

This phase is for children whose siblings or parents are alumni, or whose parents are staff of the school.

At this stage last year, 11 schools had more applicants than vacancies available.

Parents of children who need to face the ballot at this point will receive the results via text messages on July 19, after computerised balloting is done centrally by the Ministry of Education.

A total of 68 of the 185 schools in this year’s exercise have filled more than half their places by Tuesday – down from 82 schools at the same stage last year.

In recent years, some schools have faced a squeeze because of a rule introduced in 2014 that requires all primary schools to set aside 40 places for children in the later stages – Phases 2B and 2C.

Phase 2B, the fourth phase in the exercise, is for children whose parents are school volunteers, active community leaders or have ties with church or clan associations directly connected with the schools.

Registration for Phase 2B starts on July 22.